Ok guys. This is a Romano Family delicacy and it. is. so. good. Every birthday I am always asking for 1 of 2 things [+ my mom typically makes both]. It’s always either this recipe or the stuffed artichoke recipe. For my vegan friends, we just made this on Sunday without cheese and it tastes EQUALLY delicious. So you know to do with the recipe- kick out the cheese + you’re good to go. Plant based, delicious meal comin right up.
Two options for this recipe. The traditional family recipe calls for pan frying the eggplant; however, you can also bake! When I make this recipe at home we bake + it tastes the exact same!
From the Dietitian: Eggplants are an excellent source of fiber, folate, potassium and manganese, as well as vitamins C, K, and B6, phosphorus, copper, thiamin, niacin, and magnesium! For these reasons eggplants are beneficial for healthy skin + bones.
From the Doctor: Why I love eggplant- besides the great taste? It’s great for heart health. One study found eggplants reduced inflammation and improved ventricular function. This is because they are loaded with cardioprotective compounds known as phytonutrients. Also, eggplants lower LDL “bad” cholesterol levels, which in turn, aids in avoiding any plaque build-up [which eventually could lead to blocked arteries].
Eggplants are also an awesome veggie for diabetics due to the low carbohydrate, high fiber content.
- 1 or 2 eggplant [you can sub 4 or 5 zucchini- we have made it both ways and you can’t go wrong either way]
- 3 eggs beaten [for vegan friends, 1 C almond milk]
- All purpose flour [feel free to use whole wheat, oat, sprouted flour, coconut- this is just to coat the zucchini/eggplant]
- Seasoned Breadcrumbs
- Sea Salt
- Olive Oil
- 1lb Fresh Mozzarella [grated or sliced thin]
- Grated Locatelli [Parmesan] cheese
- Marinara Sauce [click link for recipe]
- Preheat oven to 425
- Make marinara sauce recipe above first [or your own red sauce recipe or jar of sauce per preference]
- Cut off ends and peel eggplant or zucchini
- Cut lengthwise [hot dog style] into slices of about 1/4 in thick
- For eggplant, to remove any bitter taste, sprinkle with sea salt and place in a colander. Set aside for a 1-2 hours for best results; then, remove slices, rinse and pat dry [skip this step if you have a time constraint OR if you are using zucchini]
- Lightly flour each slice of eggplant or zucchini
- Then dip in beaten egg [or almond milk] making sure each slice is thoroughly covered with egg [or milk].
- You can either pan fry OR bake.
- For Pan Frying: Place about 1/4 C Olive Oil in a large pan, fry each slice, turning over so that both sides are lightly browned; then, remove from pan and place on paper towel to soak up excess oil. For Baking: After dipping eggplant in both flour + egg. Place as many eggplant as you can fit on a baking pan and bake for 5-8 min [you should be able to easily place your fork through eggplant]
- In a large roasting pan- cover bottom of pan with a layer of red sauce. Place slices of eggplant or zucchini in a single layer, side by side to cover sauce; then, top the slices with mozarella and sprinkle with grated cheese. Begin again with sauce and repeat layers until all slices have been used.
- Top with sauce and grated cheese.
- Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes.
- Top with red pepper to taste.
Hope you enjoy one of our favorite meals of all time. It is so worth the bit of work that goes into it. We promise! Once you do it once, you will find it easy the second time around. Also, making red sauce in large batches and freezing – saves lots of time and helps avoid the “oh no, I’m out of time- have to grab a jar of sauce” situation!
Feel free to message us with any questions!
-The Neilan Family-